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What to Do When a Bathroom Emergency Strikes at a Holiday Party

What to Do When a Bathroom Emergency Strikes at a Holiday Party

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go… er, to the Grandmother’s bathroom we go after eating too much of that rich holiday food! When you’re away from home and a bathroom emergency strikes, what can you do? Holiday gatherings are often a recipe for upset stomach, heartburn and the inevitable case of fiery poops or (worse) diarrhea.

It’s partly our own fault: our eyes can be a lot bigger than our stomachs, and it’s hard to turn down a second slice (or third) of your Aunt Sally’s famous pumpkin pie. Eating larger than usual portions places extra pressure on the esophageal sphincter, the muscle that’s responsible for keeping food down in the stomach where it belongs. Too much food equals too much acid and pressure build up, which can slow down the entire digestive system and lead to serious stomachaches and constipation. And when you do eat a high-fiber food, the end result can be a very unpleasant (and poorly timed) case of explosive poops.

Worse, at holiday parties, it’s easy to overindulge in festive drinks and seasonal treats. All those rich cheeses, glasses of wine and passed hor d’oeuvres can add up to acid reflux, intestinal distress and a stinky disaster in your host’s bathroom. So, what can you do when disaster strikes? Read on for a crash course in surviving your worst holiday bathroom nightmares.

The problem: One too many glasses of eggnog and several slices of roast smothered in rich gravy later, your stomach is rumbling big time. Yikes– it’s a veritable poop explosion at the family dinner table!

Your solution: Learn the warning signs and plan ahead. At the first sign of gas or stomach rumbles, put down the fork and take a food break. If you can’t escape from the table, you can at least try to make the situation better by not feeding the fiery stomach flames. If you can make it to the bathroom, do what you can to cool your burning bottom. Chafing and itching is inevitable with aggressive wiping, especially if your relatives use thinner toilet paper. Consider carrying a small bottle of hygienic cleansing lotion you can add to the toilet paper. That way, if no wet wipes are available, you can still clean up the destruction zone without making your pain any worse.

The problem: Your boss is hosting the company party at his beautiful home– and you’ve just destroyed the toilet. How can you cover up the smell and escape from being the talk of the office water cooler gossip on Monday?

Your solution: Again, this one requires a bit of smart pre-planning, but it will definitely pay off. It’s not practical (or subtle) to carry a big bottle of Febreze into the bathroom with you. When you find yourself in a pinch, grab a book of matches. One or two lit matches will quickly neutralize any unpleasant odor, and they’re much more effective than an entire basket of potpourri. Just don’t forget to slip the matches in your pocket or purse before entering the bathroom!

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